Week 7


This week we’re on a topic that’s very close to my heart.  I grew up on Atari and Nintendo, spending hours playing games in the dark, dank basement of my parents’ house.  If I’d spent that time studying, I’d be a genius right now, but I have no hard feelings.  Tired of my, “When I was a kid…’ stories?  Fine, read the chapter and take the quiz to get the official story on how it used to be and how it is now.  Ever thought you’d have to take a quiz on video games?  Yeah, that’s kind of awesome.

Advertising is weird.  We see literally thousands of ads every day, yet if you ask the average person, they’d probably say advertising doesn’t influence them.  They “tune it out.’  Want to ensure advertising will influence you?  Ignore it.  It’s the people who pay no attention to advertising and claim it has no impact on them that are, in my opinion, most susceptible to it.  The key to media literacy and protecting your mind from undesired influence is to respect the power of advertising and realize that companies wouldn’t spend billions on advertising every year if it didn’t influence us.

Check out the chapter to get the full scoop on advertising and take the quiz to test your knowledge. It’s all fine and good to complain about product placement until it has a very real effect on something you’re trying to do.  Jump in on the discussion this week to weigh in on our television studio’s moral dilemma.

We’re getting creative with this week’s assignment.  It’s another radio report, so go about writing and turning it in like you did before.  This time, however, we’re putting a spin on the wars various mass media have waged with one another.  You’ll need to be well versed on how at least one medium responded to the advent of another medium in order to do the story well.  Television and the Internet are both great choices for the “new medium on the block.’  See the description for more information and email any questions to rob.prince@alaska.edu.


  • Treatment of Women and Minorities in Video Games
  • Product placement in Video Games
  • Video Games a social good?
  • Changes in advertising over the ages
  • Advertising’s impact on us
  • Covert advertising

READING:  Chapter 9 “Video Games’ and Chapter 12 “Advertising’

QUIZ:  Chapter 9 Quiz and Chapter 12 Quiz

ASSIGNMENT:  This week a major newspaper declared bankruptcy, claiming the Internet killed its revenue.  This week write a 90 second radio script in which you play the role of an existing medium confronting a new medium by writing them an angry letter complaining about their influence on the neighborhood.  “Dear Television, this is your neighbor magazines.  We’re so glad you moved into the neighborhood, but we’re a little upset at how you’re kind of hogging all our readers now…’

How do you turn this in?  Post it by hitting “+ New’ at the top of the WordPress dashboard and typing in your  assignment. Make sure to use the “Assignments’ category listed on the right side of the page and put “Week [#]: [Your Name]’ in the subject heading. Then, head over to Assignments and see how it looks! Read the submissions of your peers and give constructive feedback.

DISCUSSION:  One of our TV producers came to me this week saying he needs $20,000 for a special effect she wants to use in the season finale of the show.  We can’t afford to give her that, so do we tell her now and risk losing viewers and this producer or do we let her accept product placement in the show to pay for it?  Why or why not?  Respond to the discussion post in the conference room.